In a few hours the president will give his State of the Union address. I'll tune in, like I always do, because I'd rather watch it and draw my own conclusions instead of waiting for somebody else in the news media to tell me what they think I'm supposed to think about it.
Earlier today I was glued to a website that offered live-blogging of the Apple event that announced the new iPad. I couldn't attend the event but I wanted to see for myself what the presentation actually said and get my own first impression as best I could before reading the tech bloggers and news media reports about this gadget that may or my not be revolutionary.
Watching what people are saying on twitter about this gadget shows that the opinions are many and varied and quite a few people are, shall we say, not entirely sold on the name yet. But some of the comments show how well people are listening, or rather, what they were listening for.
For some, the things this gadget will do fall by the wayside if it doesn't do that one thing you wanted most... whatever that may be. Plug your TV into the video-out port... no, it doesn't have one of those. Make phone calls with it? No, it's not a phone. What?! No camera?! Not this time.
Considering the leaps and bounds of the technology industry it's still a pretty impressive gadget. My husband and I bought the original Macintosh when it came out in 1984, with it's 128k ram, single 400k floppy drive, no hard drive, and greyscale screen and it was pretty impressive back then, too. Guess everybody's got to start somewhere. (Personally, I was reminded of the PADD or Personal Access Display Device from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which I thought was pretty cool!)
The reason I mention the State of the Union speech and this announcement from Apple in the same blog post is because I want to challenge you to do something tonight that some did not do this afternoon.
Don't listen for anything in particular that you're hoping he'll say. Don't eagerly await the utterance of certain buzzwords that will give you the excuse you need to jump up on your own soapbox and wave your banner for whatever cause has ignited your passion these days.
Just listen to what the man has to say. And while you're listening, don't turn on that internal translator that says "Well, what he really means by that is...".
Just listen ... once ... all the way through.
Then take some time to think about what he's said and draw your own conclusions about what it means and what you need to do about it.
Then you can turn over the reins to your preferred network and let them lead you around by the nose if that's your thing.
The impact of technology on our everyday lives....
I think if we're ever going to find the answers we seek we have to start by listening to each other.